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NECA Top Three 4/21/17

Apr 20, 2017

1. President Donald J. Trump, during a visit to Snap-On Tools in Kenosha, Wisconsin, signed a Presidential Executive Order entitled, “Buy American and Hire American.” The order would examine changes to limit the use of H1-B visas. The H1-B visa program allows companies to bring “skilled” foreign workers to fill jobs in the US.

NECA’s Look Ahead: Across the aisle many members of Congress have wanted to reform the H1-B program. This executive order is the first step in the overhaul of the program. The order directs executive agencies to create a detailed report to determine how to prevent fraud and abuse. The executive order also continued the “buy American” provision for the use of American-made products in federal construction projects, as well as in various federally funded transportation projects.

2. When Congress Returns to Washington D.C. April 25th, Members are expected to pass a one-week stopgap government funding bill to give themselves more time to come to an agreement that will satisfy the President, Republicans, and Democrats.

NECA’s Look Ahead: The one week extension would effectively push off the shutdown scare, giving lawmakers more time to hash out a compromise and avoid the political disaster of a shut down during the President’s first 100 days. Although they will have more time to compromise, both sides are expected to lose a legislative priority to pass a final bill. Congressional leadership also is placed in the middle between President Trump and conservative Republicans, against the moderate Republicans and Democrats.

3. The special election was held in Georgia’s 6th Congressional District to fill the seat vacated by Secretary of Health and Human Services, Tom Price. Also, this week, Congressman Jason Chaffetz (R-UT), Chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform and a one-time candidate for Speaker, announced his retirement after the end of this Congress.

NECA’s Look Ahead: In GA-06, the runoff election will place Democrat Jon Ossoff against Republican Karen Handel. The runoff election comes as a surprise to many Democratic strategists who predicted that Jon Ossoff would be able to flip the district from Republican to Democrat. The runoff election is scheduled for June 20, 2017. Congressman Jason Chaffetz’s surprise retirement, along with a statement pledging not to run for any other office in 2020, ends the wide speculation that he was planning to challenge Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT), the President Pro Temp of the Senate and Finance Committee Chairman.